With every passing generation, the time where you are expected to start preparing for college gets earlier and earlier. While you used to be in good shape if you started preparing for college a couple of years in advance, these days you have no chance of getting into one of the top colleges in the world unless you start preparing around Kindergarten. Even preschools are judged by how many of their students go on to be Harvard graduates. If your sights are set on going to an excellent school here in the US, such as Pepperdine University or Purdue University, you still have to start preparing by the time you enter high school – before you even really know what college is – to have a good chance at getting in.
As the age where you must begin preparing for college moves up, so does the time where you must start preparing for your career after college. In the modern job market, a college degree is more a requirement than an asset. You won’t get a leg up by having a degree, you will just get a foot in the door. Your resume needs to already be filled out to the margins by the time you graduate if you are hoping to get a decent entry-level job upon entering the job market. To give yourself a shot to pay off those pesky student loans, follow these 5 tips to career prep for college students.
- Secure Internships — not just one
No one is going to want to pay a college student to do work they could get someone with a degree to do, but no one is going to want to hire someone with a degree who doesn’t have any work experience. That’s why internships are an important part of your career prep. Internships are the only way to get useful work experience onto your resume while still in college, and the more you have the better. Hey, if you’re lucky, some of them might even pay.
- Get a Master’s Degree
As I said earlier, a college degree is further away from guaranteeing a job than ever. It has even moved beyond where having a master’s degree guarantees employment. Depending on what field you go into, a master’s degree may be a requirement as well.
With the rise of the internet, it is now easier to network yourself and make connections than ever. But has also trivialized connections. Will a mutual follow on Twitter or a connection on LinkedIn actually help when a job is on the line? In a way, in-person connections are more valuable than ever.
- Use Your School’s Career Center
Every college should have a career center dedicated to assisting students get jobs and internships, during your time in school and beyond. They will have connections in the job market as well as valuable advice.
- Take Business Classes
Having knowledge of business means having knowledge of money, and that will help you in pretty much any job you are hoping to get. Plus, you can form connections with students who could be your future bosses.